Global markets including the JSE fell on Wednesday as signs of economic weakness were put on the spotlight via economic data and earnings.
Fears were ignited by a miss in earnings estimates by some of the major US banks like Bank of America, Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan Chase. The weakness started in Asia where the Nikkei shed 0.45%, the Shanghai Composite Index dropped 0.74% and the Hang Seng lost 1.19%. Deeper losses were recorded across the major European benchmarks while stocks in the USA opened sharply weaker. US stocks slipped further into the red due to worse than expected retail sales and industrial production numbers.
On the currency market, the rand slipped further into the red in today’s session as emerging markets wobbled against the greenback. At 17.00 CAT, the local unit was trading 2.05% weaker at R18.66.
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On the JSE, Telkom [JSE:TKG] was one of the day’s biggest decliners after the stock fell 16.33% to close at R19.60, while its sector peer MTN Group [JSE:MTN] lost 8.12% to close at R47.63. Motus Holdings [JSE:MTH] came under significant pressure as it plummeted by 17.07% to close at R36.00, while logistics provider Super Group [JSE:SPG] tumbled 11.49% to close at R16.17. Redefine Properties [JSE:RDF] which has had a consistent uptrend over the past couple of sessions, retreated in today’s session as it closed 16.88% lower at R2.61. High volatility has become the norm for oil and gas producer, Sasol [JSE:SOL] which lost 14.48% to close at R59.37 in today’s session. Declines were also recorded for platinum miner, Northam Platinum [JSE:NHM] which slipped 10.05% to close at R85.23, as well as Impala Platinum [JSE:IMP] which closed at R115.40 after losing 7.99%.
A couple of index heavyweights managed to close firmer on the day however this was not enough to lift the all-share index. Naspers [JSE:NPN] gained 1.69% as it closed at R2684.91, while Prosus [JSE:PRX] managed to gain 0.96% to close at R1270.72. Hospitality Property Fund [JSE:HPB] rallied 8.7% to close at R5.00, while Intu Properties [JSE:ITU] advanced 2.19% to close at R1.40. Reunert [JSE:RLO] surged 2.98% to close at R48.00, while Alexander Forbes [JSE:AFH] closed at R4.73 after gaining 4.88%. Gains were also recorded for British American Tobacco [JSE:BTI] which added 1.51% to close at R680.11, as well as DRD Gold [JSE:DRD] which rose 1.07% to close at R16.01.
The JSE Top-40 index eventually closed 3.32% weaker while the JSE All-Share index lost 3.43%. The Financials index took the bigger knock of the day as it fell 7.21%, while the Industrials and Resources indices lost 1.37% and 4.88% respectively.
Brent crude slipped on the back of evidence showing declining consumer demand. The commodity was trading 7.5% weaker at $27.38/barrel just after the JSE close.
At 17.00 CAT, Gold was 0.26% softer at $1721.44/Oz, Palladium had lost 2.84% to trade at $2171.14/Oz, and Platinum was up 1.19% at $781.98/Oz.
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